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First, a Celtic blessing through words

Then, a blessing through dance, clarinet and lute

Finally, the word- and soundless blessing that blesses us all,

always


John O’Donohue’s anam cara nestled between some Irish stones

A blessing from ancient Ireland

(from the book ‘anam cara’ by John O’Donohue)


A blessing


May the light of your soul guide you.

May the light of you soul bless the work

you do with the secret love and

warmth of your heart.

May you see in what you do the beauty

of your own soul.

May the sacredness of your work bring healing,

light and renewal to those who work with you

and to those who see and receive your work.

May your work never weary you.

May it release within you wellsprings of refreshment,

inspiration and excitement.

May you be present in what you do.

May you never become lost in the bland absences.

May the day never burden.

May dawn find you awake and alert,

approaching your new day with dreams,

possibilities and promises.

May evening find you gracious and fulfilled.

May you go into the night blessed, sheltered

and protected.

May your soul calm, console and renew you.

-


A blessing through dance, clarinet and lute

I’m not sure if this is a blessing, but to me, it is.

Movement in air, strings, body.

Youth and old age, together

in timeless time.

Is it a prayer?

It’s a blessing

A blessing

to be part of

this wonderful

and

inexplicable

being

together


Maybe read the Celtic blessing once more, but now with ‘Eileen’ in the background?




The one blessing that blesses us all, always

Maybe listen to ‘Eileen’ one more time, but outside this time, the sun, moon, air or rain on you face?

-


PS


Below an interview by the clarinet player with the dancer, Eileen. What I find especially intriguing about this interview is the transition at the end, around the 13:50 min mark. First the talking, somewhat awkward, then a hug and then, very naturally, they enter this different realm of being together, through clarinet and dance. Suddenly, they’re closer than ever. The awkwardness of words dissolve into a new and crystal clear communication. They’re home.



If we really want to Be together, learning how to be without words is essential. There is a great importance of understanding how to express ourselves not just through words. Imagine if our education would take this seriously. Every one of us learning different ways of expressing ourselves, thereby also helping us to find our own unique way. Imagine all the different ways of being together! My guess is the mandatory birthday get-togethers would morph into something altogether astounding. Something weirdly and especially more deeply satisfying (or at the very least, less predictable!) then we can imagine.



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What a great title!


Thank you.


It’s the title of my latest letter of news.


If you want


you can read it


right



Love,


from,


Louis



PS

This is the intro:




Hello everyone,


Here’s what I’m doing:


I’m writing. A bit more regular than usual, which (for me at least) is good news. It makes me happy, or: it’s a way for my soul to enjoy becoming visible and present:

The human person deeply desires expression. One of the most beautiful ways the soul is present is through thought. Thoughts are the forms of the soul’s inner swiftness. In a certain sense, there is nothing in the world as swift as a thought…. yet even though they are precious to our own identity, thoughts and feelings still remain largely invisible. In order to feel real, we need to bring that inner invisible world to expression. When we perform an action, the invisible within us finds a form, and comes to expression. Therefore, our work should be the place where the soul can enjoy becoming visible and present. The rich unknown, reserved and precious within us, can emerge into visible form. Our nature longs deeply for the possibility of expression which we call work.

Apart to writing, I’m reading: the above is from the wonderful book ‘anam cara’ by John O’Donohue.

Expression can take many forms, of course. And this form may change, just like everything else. However, it is worthwhile finding a way for you soul to express itself. Again, John O’Donohue:

If you allow your nature to come alive, then everything will come into rhythm. If you live the life you love, you will receive shelter and blessings. Sometimes the great famine of blessing in and around us derives from the fact that we are not living the life we love, rather we are living the life that is expected of us. We have fallen out of rhythm with the secret signature and light of our own nature. The shape of each soul is different. There is a secret destiny for each person. When you endeavor to repeat what others have done or force yourself into a preset mould, you betray your individuality. We need to return to the solitude within, to find again the dream that lies at the hearth of the soul. We need to feel the dream with the wonder of a child approaching a threshold of discovery. When we rediscover our childlike nature, we enter into a world of gentle possibility. Consequently, we will find ourselves more frequently at the place of ease, delight and celebration. The false burdens fall away. We come into rhythm with ourselves. Our clay shape gradually learns to walk beautifully on this magnificent earth.

I love this. It resonates QUITE strongly at the moment. The false burdens falling away by following the thread of your secret destiny. Without that burden: ease, delight and celebration return to their deepest power. The ease and delight and celebration (‘hooray it’s my birthday!!!’) most of us remember from (moments in) our childhood.

The clay shape gradually learns to walk, ever more beautifully. Easy going… and in this movement, blessings of encouragement appear…


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In a bar with friends, crazy pianos, not literal crazy pianos, but pop playing piano players playing pop piano songs on a couple of pianos. Inevitably, the piano-pop playing piano players play piano man, and my mind goes back to an article about Billie Joel still selling out Madison Square Garden like 15 times each year. I tell a friend, the friend shrugs, and fair enough, it is a pretty boring story, so why am I writing about it?


no piano man in sight, this is the day after, listening to some jazz (by the Gyoza Trio) in ‘jazz’, a (jazzy) café in Den Haag

The next day, slightly hungover, watching Ted Lasso’s final episode. The crew are discussing examples of perfection and Roy Kent‘s pick is ‘The Stranger’ by Billie Joel. Welcome back Billie Joel. He is a bit of a stranger. Sure I know Piano Man but who doesn’t? And sure I’ve read a few articles about the man but a stranger he was and The Stranger it is. Following threads here, so let’s have a listen: unsurprisingly, a piano theme, but hey! I know that theme, I love that theme! I look it up, and of course, praise be to the internet people, someone has looped it for our enjoyment:



I will now exhibit where I know that particular theme from:



A song about the stranger in us all sampled in a song about the stranger in us all that now has become a son, still a stranger, but your stranger, so let’s give that stranger some advice!


Here’s the Billie Joel song with the (original) theme and hey, another Joel song with that same theme on the same album.


I do love leitmotifs. Especially in albums.


But what is it called when different songs of the same album bleed into each other, echoing parts in different parts, creating this holographic (fractal?) whole? An interconnected unity emerges; intertwining threads acting as connective tissue of one underlying and unifying theme, truth or heartbeat flowing through it all. A contained whole. A body of work, a reflection of life even!


Case in point: The Score by the Fugees. Especially the titel track.


Listen to that song and you hear the whole album. It’s all there. Amazing.



Lauryn Hill described The Score as “an audio film. It’s like how radio was back in the 1940s. It tells a story, and there are cuts and breaks in the music. It’s almost like a hip-hop version of Tommy, like what The Who did for rock music.”


SO!


Follow the thread, follow life. Follow life and you might find your own leitmotif. Follow your leitmotif, and you’re as close as ever.


Respond to every call that excites your spirit, no?


YES.


-

PS’s


PS I made a typo where I spelled Billie Joel as Billie Jofel which is only funny if you understand Dutch, and even then it might not be very funny. But to me, it is. Great stage name. Cartoon character. Consider this my submission to the Donald Duck writing team.


PPS some more samples:

From Billie Joel to Xzibit to Barbara Streisand. Following sample threads brings together quite the supergroup... Paparazzi by Xzibit uses this sample:




Keeping score of The Score samples, Ready or Not, here it comes (and so, Enya joins the sample thread supergroup!):




PPPS Get your Billie Jofel tickets soon, the run is ending!


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